So, you know the importance of reducing your waste and you know it can be done – but how? Aside from buying less, and using up all the food you have, we bet you’re itching for more inspo on what more you can do.
Thankfully, bloggers Bee and Nick from Waste Free Me are here to help! Having started their zero-waste living journey in 2014, they certainly know their stuff about reducing food waste. And to help you to minimise your food waste, they’re spilling the beans on 5 secret zero waste hacks they’ve learnt along the way:
1.Buy the best organic produce you can afford
Seriously. Even if you think you can’t afford it. When you are paying a premium for the world’s best, nutrient filled, food-as-medicine, flavour filled food, you will treasure every morsel of that food!
No more rotting veggies at the back of your fridge because each bit is too precious for you to ignore. Even when you miscalculate and buy too much of something on special you will find a way to keep it viable.
If you think you can’t afford organic produce, look at how much regular food you discard and put a £ figure on it. The household average is a whopping third of all food bought. It’s a win-win-win situation. You eat healthy food; you waste less and organic farmers get support to keep doing their good work. Win! Win! Win!
2. Stop trimming your food as if the ends are evil!
Most people are chopping too much off their fruit and veg when preparing them, hacking off up to an inch off each end out of habit. You barely need to trim carrots, beans, tomatoes etc. and you can even use stalks of foods like broccoli and cauliflower for added vegetable matter in cooking or celery leaves for extra salad greens.
3. Save ALL your vegetable scraps in a tub in your freezer
All the (now tiny) slivers that you trim off your produce are perfect for turning into stock. Onion and garlic skins, carrot and bean ends, the outer leaves of leek and lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower stalks.
When you have a good pile, or need stock, just boil up all those lovely scraps and voila! Now your previously discarded food waste is lovely, mega healthy soup stock. Bear in mind, you will have leftover mush to strain out.
What to do with the strained mush? As it has been broken down by the cooking process, it’s perfect to compost quickly in a worm farm, bokashi bin or with your regular compost. Plan B is to find someone who owns chickens and give it to them as delicious chicken mash. Plan C is to dig a hole dug 20 cms into the ground any bury thoroughly so other animals can’t uncover it before it has decomposed. If all else fails, check out our 5th tip…
4. Freeze leftover food as soon as you finish making it
… even if you think you’ll eat it the very next day. Often we plan to eat something the next day then get sidetracked by an impromptu meal out with friends, or we don’t feel like it or your mum visits with another meal etc the reasons are endless!
5. Make fruit and vegetable power powder!
For a quick way to give your plants a new lease of life, and to get rid of your food waste, try making power powder. Power powder is any food waste that has been crumbled and dried into a rough crumb – and it’s easy!
Soup stock mash and fruit skins can all be baked at a low heat on a tray in your oven until it’s dry. If you have a good blender or food processor, you can then whiz it all up onto a powder. You can do this either before or after the food is cooked – if you do it before, just pop the crumble into the oven to cook through. Then, simply sprinkle the power powder over potted plans, garden beds, public gardens and park grounds. The powder should be easily transportable, and it delivers all the remaining organic matter back where it belongs – Mother Earth!
Have you been trying to minimise your food waste? Is there anything that you’ve found that’s been helpful? We’d love to hear how you’ve been trying to minimise food waste. Share your tips with other residents on Twitter by using the hashtag #SlimYourBin.